West Indies v India
Friday 30 August, 15:30
TV: Live on Sky Sports
Roach ready to raze
Kemar Roach took four wickets in India's first-innings in Antigua. It meant he won top bowler honours at 9/4. He now has a barely believable win percentage of 50 in the last two years in the market.
Surprising, then, that he has been usurped by Shannon Gabriel for favourite status and he has been cut by only 0.5 per cent on implied probability. Are we missing something? Perhaps a major haul for Gabriel at the venue?
We don't think so. Roach has nine wickets in three Tests at Sabina Park and Gabriel eight in three.
At the moment, Roach is just dipping below the radar. If he was English, for example, he would probably be hailed on similar hype levels to Jofra Archer. But he's not.
Roach boasts a better career average than this lot: Trent Boult, Morne Morkel, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Johnson and Stuart Broad. But, then we're not really interested in average. Strike rate gets us going. Of the top ten wicket-takers in the last two years, only Kagiso Rabada (35) boats a better hit rate than our man (40).
For the record, though, Gabriel is 45 while the likes of Boult (46), Broad (60) and Starc (56) are not as lethal.
Come on Kohli
Another price drift is in our favour – and one we understand – is Virat Kohli being eased from 2/1 to 7/4 for top India runscorer.
We were on Kohli for honours in Antigua and, rather predictably given our recent run with him, he failed. That's now five times out of five he's lost us money when we've wagered on him with the odds in our favour. If he lets us down here we're going to start developing a grudge.
The 7/4, on two-year data, should be more like 5/4. It is impossible not to take that bet given his class and reliability (apart from when we're on him obviously). It's arguable that given our stretch of losses we should be starting to double stakes.
Ajinkya Rahane top scored instead at North Sound. That was his first win in 17. He has a ton at Sabina last time, too. But the 6/1 doesn't pass the test. Chet Pujara is 7/2 with Sportsbook and that does pass the test. We have him down at 5/2.
As always, our rule is to side with the biggest edge and that means we go again on Kohli.
We also go again with Ravi Ashwin at 3s for top India bowler. We don't expect him to play after (oddly) he was left out of game one. He should be favourite in the market with a hit rate of 38%.
Don't miss Holder
An apology is due for last week's failure not to put up Jason Holders at 20s for top Windies bat. Not that he won you understand, but he got too close for comfort.
Simply, we just didn't fancy him. It wasn't in the bones. And that's totally wrong. We bet on numbers, pure and simple, here. Nothing else.
Sportsbook go 10s for game two. Is that value? Yes. We make him 6/1 on our spreadsheet. The market seems crowded because there's nothing to beat but Holder is the only home batter who is priced in our favour. Everyone else is too short, including winner Roston Chase last time who is 5s but should be 11/2.